How to Save on Car Hire.

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 11:10
ThreadID: 70381 Views:2996 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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You know how the Hire car mobs quote you a daily rate, & then tell you that
another $15-$30 bucks a day will reduce your excess from several thousand to
only one thousand ? Of course you do. Well, in the interests of maintaining
my hard earned rep for being a minimalist tight ar*e old fart, I offer you the
following solution. Take out travel insurance. For about $35 you can cover the
total excess liabilty for 5 days. You are also covered for everything else the
policy covers, such as lost luggage etc. Cost is related to number of days
you require, but is far cheaper than paying the hire mob & still being liable to
an excess. Works domestically or overseas. Tip...make sure the designated
driver is the one insured. cheers...oldbaz.
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Reply By: tim_c - Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 14:55

Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 14:55
Thanks Oldbaz, very keen to hear that. I'll seriously look into it as we were looking to hire a campervan for a few weeks travelling in NZ - the additional insurance nearly doubles the total hire cost, but neither am I keen on potential $5k liability!
AnswerID: 373069

Follow Up By: Mark S (cns) - Sunday, Jul 05, 2009 at 21:22

Sunday, Jul 05, 2009 at 21:22
hi Tim
As a side note on the hire, I have recently researched this, as we are doing this in NZ this year. A lot of the companies(incl britz. maui apollo etc) have a $7.5k excess that they deduct (not just take an imprint) from your credit card. There is only one major company that does the imprint only, and for the amount of $4k. $4k is the key here, as travel ins only covers up to $5k.
This company also does not charge diesel fuel tax at the end of your journey and also supply gas free of charge (cooking & heating) via refund on receipts for gas refills. Underbody , tyre & windscreen insurance is another trap to be aware of as most outfits will charge extra for this. This company does not. You can also get a van less than 18mnths old for $12nz a day, which I thought was worthwhile, as I didn't really want to chance getting a 4+ year old van with 200k on it (most of the bigger vans out there seem to be 3-5 yrs old).
All this for less cost than the other major companies
The company? Pacific Horizon.

Another tip on hire car excess's that we use is that when we use our credit card, we have automatic travel insurance. It's a gold card, which only costs $50 a year more than the std one, but has proven more than worth it, as it has travel insurance with it (i.e we pay the airfares to NZ with it - travel insurance all taken care off!), so it could be as simple as upgrading your c'card for $50 to get travel insurance for a year, as well as an extra 12mnths warranty on goods purchased in Aus (Westpac altitude gold card). No affiliations etc, just passing on info on good deals out there

FollowupID: 640429

Follow Up By: tim_c - Monday, Jul 06, 2009 at 11:22

Monday, Jul 06, 2009 at 11:22
Thanks Mark, will certainly take a look at Pacific Horizon (although perhaps a bit nervous - the cheapest is usually cheaper for a reason!).

I also already have a Westpac Altitude Gold card so will have to check the terms/conditions on it (never thought it would include travel insurance!) - do they cover the first $5k, or only cover the total amount on bills notr exceeding $5k? If they'd cover the first $5k leaving me with potential liability of $2.5k it would still be a lot more palatable than a potential $7.5k hanging over me the whole trip!

Cheers, Tim.
FollowupID: 640463

Follow Up By: Mark S (cns) - Monday, Jul 06, 2009 at 13:57

Monday, Jul 06, 2009 at 13:57
hi Tim
Yes, I thought the same re cheapies. Pacific horizon (PH) are not usually the cheapest, as they the the largest (and the original) hirer in NZ (Britz etc would seem to be, however, their marketing is much more vigorous (bit like coopers.....) )They have a deal where you get 2 free days if hiring 8-13 days, so they worked out to be good value in terms of daily rate (about $86au a day, incl the upgrade to a new camper) There are cheaper campers out there, but they are more geared to the backpacker market (eg. United campers is the budget arm of Pacific horizon, they get the 5yr old hand-me- downs from PH.)

Do check the gold card conditions. I actually called them up to clarify for an overseas trip before we left, and was pleasantly surprised! We always have travel insurance in place as long as we use the card to pay.
Re. the $5k, yes this is what they cover, however, you only need $4k to cover PH insurance, so we are totally covered in terms of the liable excess.
Also, with the $7.5k you are talking about, the companies that charge this much actually charge this amount to your card, and refund you at the end, as opposed to an imprint that would usually happen with conventional car hire. This can leave a nasty dent in the avail credit limit!

FollowupID: 640474

Reply By: Member - Vic S (VIC) - Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 16:05

Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 16:05
Oldbaz and all
we have been using this for a number of years ,must have saved a fortune.
Another good way to save a buck is a site called "" which work for a lot of hire companys who need campers or cars returned to another city. We had a top of the line Mercedes with shower and toilet 2 berth from Hobart to Melb they allowed 3 nights @ $5 per day and an extra 2 days @$75 ea and they paid for the ferry and some of the fuel costs ,very cheap holiday.
AnswerID: 373078

Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Jul 05, 2009 at 20:42

Sunday, Jul 05, 2009 at 20:42
Good Reminder Old Baz - We did this on a trip to perth from vic earlier this year.

We used vic's RACV and I think it was about $60 compare to about $250.

This covered the $2500 excess with standard Hertz charges.

Should a problem occur you have to pay up front but you get cash back quicly from RACV.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 373233

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